For those living in the dark, MSN’s indexing robot has been heavily crawling websites for the past few monthes. Some folks with larger sites have gone so far as to ban MSN bot due to aggressive crawling. Most of my sites have no more than a couple of hundred pages, so it hasn’t affected me much.
Then, about 2 monthes ago, they gave users and opportunity to test their ranking algorithms using their tech preview.
I was rather impressed myself, many of my sites (all of which contain useful, relevant information) enjoyed top rankings, while other webmasters were throwing a fit: They felt that the results reflected low value, irrelevant websites that had been unethically manipulated for high rankings.
When MSN goes live, I believe we will see fiercer closer to evenly split competition between Google, Yahoo, and MSN for web surfers. Kind of like the internet worlds version of the “Big 3” automakers. As of now, Google retains the high market share of internet searches. Many companies, such as AOL and until recently, Yahoo, were using it’s search results for their own engines.
As it stands, many peoples browser default to MSN’s home page, which gives them a natural advantage. For webmasters, we will be seeing a whole new set of results in our server’s referrer logs. One thing I’m looking forward to: Watching the Big 3 constantly adjusting there algorithms to deliver better results than the other. This will be beneficial to both surfers, and webmasters who optimize their websites in an ethical, relevant fashion. Both parties stand to win more, while it will leave Black Hat optimizers continually scrambling to learn the newest way to manipulate the algorithms.